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Meaty Stuffed Peppers

Kelli and Matt are friends from High School. They live in Southwest Ohio so right now they are in the middle of garden harvest.  Kelli made this with garden fresh peppers and the egg is from the chickens they raise.  So the key word in today’s recipe is “fresh is best.”  Now Kelli will tell you more about the recipe.

Just enjoyed a great dinner, fresh corn on the cob picked this morning (by the Amish neighbors), fresh green beans picked yesterday (by my mom), and stuffed red bell peppers (picked up the peppers at the Amish fruit & vegetable stand earlier today).  It was all so good! 🙂

Matt and I are trying to cut back on the amount of carbohydrates we eat, so this is not your normal stuffed peppers recipe. I developed it to suit our tastes and diet.  I have cut out the rice and tomato sauce (Matt is not a big fan of it).  I have included several variations to suit different tastes and what might be fresh at the market.  Note:  If you have not tried Weber’s Canadian Chicken Seasoning…. YOU MUST!  We use it on everything!
Stuffed Peppers
4 lg. red bell peppers
1 small onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. turkey sausage
1 egg
2-3 tsp. Weber Canadian Chicken Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix ground beef, turkey sausage, egg, onion, green pepper and seasonings.  Set aside. Cut tops off the red peppers and clean out the seeds.  Rinse well.  Stuff meat mixture into peppers and place in a baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes. Enjoy!

Other variations:
½ C. rice or other filler (like oats or bread crumbs)
Add ½  to 1 C. shredded cheese
Top with marinara or spaghetti sauce
Add 1 pkg. frozen spinach (thawed, drained, and chopped) to the meat mixture
Substitute eggplant for the bell peppers. Just cut them lengthwise and scoop out middle.
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My Pork Ragu

My Pork Ragu

To all the Italians who read this, I apologize in advance.  This is an American hybrid of the classic Italian Ragu.  It uses  a whole cut of meat instead of chopped meat and way too much tomato to be a classic Ragu.  That being said, I love this dish.  The mix of vegetable, the shredded meat, the spices, and slow cooked flavor speak to my inner comfort food soul.

I will serve it this time with elbow macaroni.  It would be fine served on any pasta shape.  It would be wonderful on any rice, except yellow.  It would be good on baked potatoes too.  Toasted garlic bread or my Texas Toast could be used in a real pinch.  What I am trying to say is, it is really GOOD.

 

My Pork Ragu

2-3 lb. Pork roast, boneless

1 each of green, yellow, and red peppers cut into strips

2 yellow squash, sliced into thin coins

2 zucchini, sliced into thin coins

½ C. baby carrots,

1 med. Onion, cut in halves and sliced thin

1 lb. button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin

2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes

1 small can of tomato sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and whole

3 T. capers in brine

2 T. Italian seasoning

2 T. Adobo seasoning for Pork Roast

Spray inside of crock pot with non-stick spray.  Put a layer of peppers carrots and onion in for the roast to set on.  Season the roast on all sides with the Adobo seasoning.  Place on vegetables.  Add remaining vegetables.  Add both kinds of garlic, capers, and seasoning.  Pour into tomatoes and sauce.  Stir gently and cook on low for 12 hours or high for 6 hours.  Shred meat before serving.

 

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Celery Salad

This is a salad mom thought up.  I was skeptical at first, but after trying it became a believer.  It is a very crunchy and sharp tasting,  almost like a pickle.  We tried it with pork, but I could see it as a relish on a hot dog or mett.  Make sure to make it a day ahead.  It has to marinate so the flavor permeates all the way through the celery.

 

Celery Salad

1 C. celery, thinly sliced

½ C. apple cider vinegar

2 T. water

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. dried parsley

Place celery in resealable container.  In mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the celery and stir to coat.  Seal container and chill 24 hrs.  Shake or stir a couple of times to make sure dressing coats all the celery.  Serve chilled.

 

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Sriracha, the other hot sauce

Introducing the newest favorite ingredient in the FF&F Home Cooking pantry, Sriracha!  This Thai or Vietnamese chili sauce is SPICY HOT!  It is great to add to mayo for a spicy kick or on chicken wings for a different type of heat.  I understand it is traditionally used as a dipping sauce, but I would like to know other ways to utilize it.  I have added it to stir-fries and other Asian dishes, as well as, the sandwich spread and wing sauce.

I love the heat it brings, but there is a great flavor too.  I definitely recommend trying these two ways of using Sriracha.

Sriracha Sandwich Spread

½ cup mayo or salad dressing

2 T. Sriracha

In small mixing bowl, combine the mayo and Sriracha.  Mix together well.  Use on your favorite sandwich.  Adds a real kick to your Tuna or Egg salad.

Sriracha Wing Sauce

¼ C. butter

¼  C. Sriracha

In a small sauce pan over low heat, combine the ingredients.  Stir to combine.  Let come to a simmer.  Brush on wings or serve as a dipping sauce.

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The Weekend Steak Out

It has been a long week for the Fields Family and Friends Home Cooking Family.  Our friends at the Chop Shop had Sizzlers on sale, so we treated ourselves to a Steak dinner.  Yukon Gold potatoes baked in the oven, onions, garlic, and olive oil in a foil packet roasted on the grill, toss salad with most every vegetable imaginable, and steak on the grill.

It was hot outside and even hotter by the grill, but I manned that grill like the pro I am.  The sizzlers were juicy, tender, and oh so tasty.  My wife and sister set the table and prepared the salad and potatoes.   We sat down to a real feast.  I have got to get better and remember to take photos BEFORE we eat, but I just couldn’t wait cause the food was too good.

We had a several bottles of store made dressings to serve on the salad, but I like this quick, mustard tinged, vinaigrette.  It is really light and sharp and is a great contrast to the fat of the meat.

Mustard Vinaigrette

3 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. dry mustard

1 clove garlic minced

1 T. shallot minced

2 T. water

1/3 to 1/2 C. EVOO

In a cruet or mixing bowl, whisk together the all but the EVOO.  Continue to whisk; slowly streaming in the EVOO.  Add enough oil to emulsify the dressing.  Taste.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   This is also good brushed on fish during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

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Cool as a Cucumber-A Refreshing Summer Salad

Cucumbers are arguably our family’s favorite vegetable.  We love them pickled, chopped in salads, in Tzatziki sauce, sliced on a relish tray, or in a cucumber sandwich.  Their cool, refreshing, and mild taste makes cucumbers a great candidate for a summer salad.

Dijon mustard, some herbs, and the mildly tart rice wine vinegar make this salad especially refreshing when served cold on a hot summer day.

Dijon Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin

1 clove garlic, chopped fine

1 small shallot, chopped fine

1 T. basil, chopped fine

1 T. oregano, chopped fine

1 T. dill, chopped fine

2 T. Dijon mustard

½ C. rice wine vinegar

In a mixing bowl, whisk the vinegar and Dijon together.  Add in the herbs, garlic, and shallots and whisk.  Taste and add a little salt if needed.  Pour over cucumbers and chill for at least an hour before service

 

Remember about my Grammy West? (Check out our “about” page).  When you’re in a hurry or don’t have a shallot around use this Grammy’ed version of the salad.

Grammy’ed Dijon Cumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

1 T. dried Italian seasoning

2 T. Dijon mustard

½ C. rice wine vinegar

In a mixing bowl, whisk the vinegar and Dijon together.  Add in the seasonings and whisk.  Taste and add a little salt if needed.  Pour over cucumbers and chill for at least an hour before service.

 

We would love to hear about your favorite summer salads.  Please post a comment below.

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